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Position And Hold? Why Do We Use This?  
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2716 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 15069 times:

In the US, ATC uses the phrase "position and hold" to instruct pilots to taxi onto the runway and hold there, while using "hold short" to instruct pilots to stop short of the runway. After seeing several students get confused by this, I started wondering, why the hell does the FAA use "position and hold". Why not use "line up and wait", like ICAO does?

Anyone else think "position and hold" is a bad phraseology, increasing the likelihood of runway incursions?


It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 15125 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Thread starter):
Anyone else think "position and hold" is a bad phraseology, increasing the likelihood of runway incursions?

I think its not the phraseology from ATC but how familiar the student is, for example when i have a flying lesson me and my instructor sit in the aircraft while all the systems are whinding up and we act out the communications and he test's me by using different instructions by doing this im alot more aware of what might happen. So i think no i dont think its the phraseology but the student.

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 15102 times:

the term is there because it's basically what you're doing. you assume take-off position on the runway and hold for TO clearance. besides it's the FAA... i forgot what they use for this term in the UK... haven't flown there in a while.

now, i understand your point about students being uncertain about what the term means. in that case, the responability rest on the instructor to make sure that they know it. also, the student can always ask a controller to either repeat the command or clarify. unfortunately more are worried about being embarassed than the safety of fellow pilots and airplanes.



"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 15081 times:

Quoting Cancidas (Reply 2):
the student can always ask a controller to either repeat the command or clarify

This is exactly right. Pride and ignorance are not good reasons to change pilot-controller communications. What if a novice pilot didn't understand "give way to the RJ crossing left-to-right for the crosswind runway and enter a left base midfield for runway 17 left?" It's the pilot's responsibility to know and understand correct procedures, including the meaning of standard communication phrases.



Position and hold
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks ago) and read 15036 times:

Quoting Cancidas (Reply 2):
i forgot what they use for this term in the UK... haven't flown there in a while.

Purely from eavesdropping, I only hear "line up and wait" in the UK (mostly Edinburgh). FS is the only place I hear "position and hold" over here. Mind you, I only hear "contact xyz Centre" over here but "contact xyz Center" in the US and that's never confused me.  Smile


User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks ago) and read 15022 times:

Wouldn't "line up and wait" be more appropriate for the ground controller to use at peak arrival/departure time in ATL, LHR, NRT, ORD et al?  duck 

User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2716 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks ago) and read 15020 times:

With something as serious as whether to be on a runway or not, why have a command to stay clear of the runway and a command to enter the runway both use "hold". I agree that student's shouldn't solo without understanding the difference, but why not use "line up and wait" to avoid any possibility of confusion?

On congested frequencies where everyone is stepping on everyone else, transmissions get broken. Now picture a solo student out in a busy environment, trying to do their best not to lose control of the airplane and listen to the radios. Part of a transmission is blocked, but through the static they believe the hear "position and hold", but they are really told "hold short". The controllers are busy, and don't notice the student incorrectly reading back the instruction. That's why it should be changed. Someone with more experience would know to ask again. The student is probably scared the tower will get angry at them, and will try to comply with the instruction.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks ago) and read 15019 times:

Don't worry about it much guys. Position and hold is being phased out in the US. Soon, nobody will be going onto the runway until they're cleared for takeoff.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6265 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks ago) and read 15000 times:

Quoting flyf15 (Reply 7):
Don't worry about it much guys. Position and hold is being phased out in the US. Soon, nobody will be going onto the runway until they're cleared for takeoff.

How'd you hear about that? Just curious...first I've heard of it.

EDIT: the quote feature had me quoting the thread starter!

[Edited 2006-03-03 00:11:58]


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineTg 747-300 From Norway, joined Nov 1999, 1318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14979 times:

To me "position and hold" is a much better phraseology than "line up and wait".

I don't know why, but it just seems way more professional, and as long as the student has received adequate instruction, it should be hard to confuse with "hold short ....".

but that's just me.

tg 747-300



intentionally left blank
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14954 times:

Quoting Tg 747-300 (Reply 9):
I don't know why, but it just seems way more professional

Well, I don't know if it actually does cause confusion but if it can then wouldn't that make it less professional?


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14943 times:

I think the underlying idea is a good one, i.e. to improve procedures to be as safe as possible. I personally think the effort should be spend on improving communication procedures, learning correct phraseology, and teaching students how to respond to a missed comm, rather than trying to change the existing standard. It seems in aviation things only really change as the result of an incident, which is unfortunate. Looking at runway incursion history, though, it seems most of the incidents are related to pilots unfamiliar with the airport missing hold lines or incorrectly reporting their position. Ground-based communications don't have very far to travel, and in my experience, I'm much more likely to miss part of an air-to-ground communication than ground-to-ground. Learning how to correctly interpret airfield signs and markings and related charts would seem to be more prudent, to me anyway.


Position and hold
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 14915 times:

let's not forget that a very stern "HOLD POSITION" command from any controller can will cause 99% of airplanes to stop moving out there.


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 14877 times:

That's because with thousands of hours experience, ATC hopes that airline pilots know the terminology by that time. If you notice, ATC only gives Position and Hold instructions to commercial planes, they never give that instruction to GA planes because they assume that GA pilots have no experience, rightly so. In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.

User currently offlineFutureUALpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14865 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
TC only gives Position and Hold instructions to commercial planes, they never give that instruction to GA planes because they assume that GA pilots have no experience, rightly so. In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.


Not true, I was given a position and hold last weekend, and the weekend before that and I was flying a 172 out of LAF. I've been instructed to "position and hold" back home at a couple different airports as well.

I have no problem with it, as it was covered when I was still starting to learn, and I learned at a busy airport, which helped sharpen my skills as a pilot. If I do not understand an instruction I will ask ATC to repeat it, and I will not move the aircraft (on the ground of course) until I understand what ATC said. Of course, I am still and will always be learning while in the cockpit.

[Edited 2006-03-03 04:12:36]

[Edited 2006-03-03 04:14:10]


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User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14860 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
That's because with thousands of hours experience, ATC hopes that airline pilots know the terminology by that time. If you notice, ATC only gives Position and Hold instructions to commercial planes, they never give that instruction to GA planes because they assume that GA pilots have no experience, rightly so. In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.

Please do not put WRONG info up here......we use that term "position and hold" or "taxi into position and hold" for any operation that we want the airplane on the runway but not starting to roll. Not sure where you picked that up from but it is WRONG! Sorry to be blunt but that is how things get all FAA'd up.



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User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8643 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14809 times:

Quoting Tg 747-300 (Reply 9):
To me "position and hold" is a much better phraseology than "line up and wait".

I don't know why, but it just seems way more professional, and as long as the student has received adequate instruction, it should be hard to confuse with "hold short ....".

I prefer standard ICAO only, many places I fly english is the not first language of the controller, standard phaseology from controller to pilot, and pilot to controller is essential for safety.

In my view Americians are just lazy to adopt ICAO phraseology (both pilots and controllers), assume every person has english as a first language.

Saw only recently on here how frustrating is was for both the IB pilot and controller when both of them did not use standard phraseology to get some taxi clearances issued and read back.

ICAO phraseology is not prefect, however it is a published STANDARD.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14804 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.

Sorry, completely wrong. Just about every time I fly a C-172 out of APA, I position and hold behind departing traffic. It improves runway utilization and traffic flow immensely. Controllers don't treat training or GA traffic differently from other traffic anyway, unless they are having difficulty or announce "student pilot." Just tonight I was renewing night currency and flew a C-172 into DEN and got cleared for the option, a stop-and-go on runway 17R, and because I knew the correct phraseology and radio usage, I was treated just like the heavies landing both sides of me. In fact, a F9 A319 was told to position and hold behind me!

[Edited 2006-03-03 06:35:55]


Position and hold
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8094 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14787 times:

Bad phraseology? It says exactly what to do! Go into position on the runway and hold.... seems clear cut and simple to me. I suppose "decend and maintain" is too confusing too?  

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
they never give that instruction to GA planes because they assume that GA pilots have no experience, rightly so. In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.

That's a total load of crap. I fly GA airplanes and I get "position and hold" clearances all the time, even at small airports!

[Edited 2006-03-03 06:53:02]


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User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14736 times:

Just out of curiosity, are foreign operators legally obliged to learn US phraseology when operating to the US?

User currently offlineUnattendedBag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14724 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Thread starter):
In the US, ATC uses the phrase "position and hold" to instruct pilots to taxi onto the runway and hold there, while using "hold short" to instruct pilots to stop short of the runway.

That is why read back instructions are mandatory at most airports.

Most of the time when an aircraft is told to "Hold Short" of a runway, they are told by a ground controller. Only after physically switching to the tower frequency, they may be told to "Taxi into Position and Hold".



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2716 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14684 times:

Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 20):
Most of the time when an aircraft is told to "Hold Short" of a runway, they are told by a ground controller.

Not true. Here is how it ususally works. Ground tells the aircraft what runway to taxi to, but does not say hold short. It is assumed the aircraft will not taxi onto the runway without permission from tower. Aircraft calls tower and advises that they are ready for takeoff. Tower advises them to hold short, usually for either departing or arriving traffic. Ground may issue a hold short if the aircraft needs to cross and active runway, or wait for traffic on a crossing taxiway.

Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 20):
That is why read back instructions are mandatory at most airports.

Alright, pretend you are working tower at a busy airport. You are working to land aircraft on two runways, have several aircraft waiting for takeoff, are coordinating with the ground controller so aircraft and vehicles can cross the runway, etc... In this busy environment where you are doing multiple things at once you issue a "hold short" instruction. Which readback is more likely to catch your attention "position and hold" or "line up and wait"?



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 14632 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 21):
It is assumed the aircraft will not taxi onto the runway without permission from tower

It's not only assumed, it's a regulation. There is a great pilot/controller glossary in the front of the AIM. Ground can instruct a pilot to "taxi to runway XX" which clears the pilot to taxi via taxiways and across runways to the destination runway and remain on the taxiway short of the runway hold short line. The only authority that can clear a pilot onto an active runway is the tower controller, and no instruction from a ground controller should ever be interpreted as clearance to taxi onto an active runway. A ground controller can instruct the pilot to hold short of a given runway, taxiway, or taxiway intersection.



Position and hold
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21106 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 14632 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
If you notice, ATC only gives Position and Hold instructions to commercial planes, they never give that instruction to GA planes because they assume that GA pilots have no experience, rightly so. In small training airports you never hear the tower say Cessna 172 postion and hold.

Absolute BS. I've been told to taxi into position and hold while in a 172 and a PA28, and at fairly busy airports no less. It happens all the time.

-Mir



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User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 14556 times:

OK. I get it. Anybody else want to point out that I was wrong?

25 Post contains images David L : OK, I didn't know it at the time but... you were wrong. Welcome to the club.
26 777WT : Absolute bull! At HPN they say "position and hold" to the next aircraft after a aircraft that was on the runway started rolling for takeoff 1/4th of
27 CosmicCruiser : anyone who can't understand either of those transmissions shouldn't fly into busy airports (or aerodromes)
28 Bri2k1 : At APA, they don't usually wait that long. As long as everyone is lined up at the same intersection, usually the end of the runway because most fligh
29 Deltamike172 : Back to the original thought: When on the frequency, "taxi to runway 35L" "hold short runway 27" "position and hold" and "hold position" don't sound r
30 Post contains images David L : "Line up and wait" saves one more syllable.
31 Mir : Yes indeed (maybe even a little sooner). HPN was one of the airports I was referring to, in fact, having flown into and out of there numerous times.
32 Jetflyer : The instruction might be unfamiliar the first time of hearing it but if someone has trouble understanding it repeatedly then they also shouldn't go ou
33 Lowrider : I would also be curious to hear the source for this. I have not heard this anywhere. This would significantly increase take off delays at busy airpor
34 CX flyboy : ....the same reason that the US has to do everything different? What that reason is, I have never figured out though.
35 Lowrider : No, the full phrase is "taxi into position and hold". On the ground, "hold has a pretty narrow, specific meaning. "Taxi into position" is pretty self
36 GoBoeing : Believe it or not, this was/is actually being considered by the FAA. I read an article within the past six months about it. Sure, it would reduce run
37 777WT : That is true. The runway that is used most at HPN is 6500 ft long and on Fridays, forget about going flying in a 172, coporate jets constantly arrivi
38 Post contains images Sabenaboy : Some years ago, pilots were supposed to report "ready for takeoff". That was changed to "ready for departure"? From then on, the word "takeoff" would
39 BuyantUkhaa : Does anybody know what effect the 1977 Tenerife accident had on ICAO phraseology? Which lines were changed, how was it before?
40 Poitin : Just curious, but what is the landing fee for a C-172 at DEN? $1.95?
41 Poitin : Maybe I'm too old and gray, but I remember "line up and wait" being used at FCM where we literally did that -- about 10 planes on the taxiway waiting
42 David L : In that context "line up and wait" meant "line up ('form a queue' in the UK) on the taxiway" and wait? Not "line up on the runway and wait"? The penn
43 Mir : Saturday and Sunday too, at least in the afternoons. Mornings are a little more manageable. -Mir
44 GuitrThree : I received this E-mail today from Wings of Eagles School of Flight based in Smyrna TN (a smaller towered airport just SE of Nashville: "To date, loca
45 Bri2k1 : There is a FBO at DEN, a branch of Signature I believe, and if I'd stopped and done anything there, I'm sure a landing fee would have been part of th
46 Post contains links and images Mir : According to a comment on www.airnav.com the landing fee is $40 at the minimum. -Mir
47 Flyf15 : The landing fee at DEN is $40 minimum and the Signature ramp fee is $28 minimum. So if you land there in a C172, shut down, and get out... you're pay
48 Sprout5199 : I know here at PBI, when there is a "line" of aircraft "wait"ing for departure, the tower will tell the first "position and hold" as soon as an arrivi
49 Bri2k1 : At APA, with one of the highest volumes of GA traffic in the country, we have full-time special procedures in place. We call ground when we're ready f
50 Sabenaboy : They have 09 painted on them. True, but rwy 2 could be confused for rwy 20 if the last zero gets lost in static or something. But I agree that droppi
51 David L : Not sure I agree it's arbitrary. 2 digits (excluding Left, Right and Centre) are all you need to identify any runway so, in Europe, 2 digits are used
52 Post contains links Bri2k1 : If you were unsure of any instruction anywhere you'd ask for clarification, wouldn't you? ATIS broadcasts will tell you which runway(s) are in use. I
53 Post contains images David L : Yes, but in Europe, as I see it, if you hear "Runway 2" you know you didn't hear correctly. And if the wind's calm? I agree you can usually work it o
54 Bond007 : It happens a lot at PDK where there is a 2/20 runway. Not quite. If ALL runways were 2 digits, just like most places except the US, the pilot EXPECTS
55 Post contains images Mir : If it was on the west side of the airport, it would go to 16L/C/R and 17L/R. If it was on the east side, it would go to 17L/C/R and 16L/R. The real q
56 Bri2k1 : This is what I experience in the real world, as well. Part of being a good pilot is maintaining situational awareness. I'm on the radio, especially a
57 Bond007 : Yes, and often there is no traffic and a calm wind! However you look at it, being consistent with 2 digit runway numbers 'may' decrease the risks of
58 Post contains images Poitin : Pretty stiff, to say the least. However, look at all the fun you can have making the line of airliners wait for you! Maybe it is worth the $40.
59 Post contains images Bri2k1 : Then you won't risk encountering any head-on traffic, will you?
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